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GB Railfreight turns its gaze towards Europe in Channel Tunnel deal
GB Railfreight ran its first rail service through the Channel Tunnel for Europorte France (EPF) yesterday (3 November, 2014), on behalf of John G Russell, transporting containers from Dourges (France) to Barking (UK).
Locomotives 92032 and 92028 undertook the second leg of the journey, departing from Calais Frethun at 23.20 and arriving at Barking International Rail Freight Terminal on 4th November at 00.17. The locomotives are two of the company’s 16 Class 92s, purchased from Europorte earlier this year, that will be used on this route.
Acting as a supplier to EPF, contractors on the scheme, the deal will see GBRf undertake a hook-and haul service on the Frethun to Barking HS1-exchange portion five times per week.
John G Russell, the Glasgow-based UK multimodal logistics provider, has procured EPF to run services for its customers, 2XL and Novatrans, over a three-year period. It will involve the transport of products for Procter & Gamble and other manufacturers.
This is an important moment for both GBRf and EPF. For GBRf, this represents the next step in its plans for future growth of international traffic, as well as the development towards the use of electric haulage on the UK network. These are both aims that have been at the forefront of the company agenda, since it purchased the Class 92s.
From an EPF perspective, it signifies progression in the utilisation of a route that achieves European capability with delivery right to the outskirts of London. Furthermore, it exemplifies efficiencies that can be gained from cross-Channel rail, compared to maritime routes, in terms of reducing unnecessary ground handling and limiting carbon emissions.